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Author Topic: ASUC voting on a bill that will oppose FDA's lifetime ban on MSM  (Read 2311 times)
Michelle Carney
Posts: 63

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« on: October 02, 2013, 12:44:51 PM »

Hi ARC@Cal!

Tonight around 7:45-8pm ish at Anna Head I will be speaking to the ASUC Senate and they will be voting on a bill to formally oppose the MSM (men who have sex with men) lifetime deferral for blood donations. You can find a PDF of the bill on the facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARCatCal/)

Although this is not affiliated with the American Red Cross or American Red Cross at Cal, this is an issue that effects our members, our community, and especially our blood drives.

Below is a ministatement essentially summarizing the bill, and if you are interested in supporting or maybe even sharing a personal story you have about the policy, feel free to reach out to me.

I hope to see you there tonight at Anna Head around 7:45! Thank you so much everyone for all of your support!


"Approximately 6 million Americans need blood annually, 44,000 blood donations needed a day, averaging out to blood needed every 2 seconds. Currently, we are in a blood shortage in the Bay Area (Stanford Medical Center) “of approximately 7.1 million residents, only 39% are eligible to donate at any given time, and of that only about 3% actually donate.” And, in the Bay Area, 24% of the organization's blood donations come from high school and college students.

The Food and Drug Administration's policy of a lifetime ban for Men who have sex with Men (MSM) from donating blood began in 1983 due to concerns of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and currently prevents an estimated 2,600,000 eligible men from making blood donations with an estimated loss of 219,000 blood donations annually, disproportionately targeting and discriminating against gay and bisexual men from donating blood (UCLA School of Law, Williams Institute). These thousands of potential donors who identify as MSM are turned away due to this policy, despite that, after 30 years of technological advancement, all donated blood is tested for blood-borne pathogens, including HIV Types 1 and 2, and a risk of these tests yielding a false negative of 0.1 per 2 billion now.

The American Medical Association (AMA), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the Blood Products Advisory Committee (American Association of Blood Banks, American Red Cross, American Blood Centers), all support an end the lifetime ban for Men who have sex with Men (MSM) to donate blood. The Blood Products Advisory Committee issued a joint statement declaring that the ban is “medically and scientifically unwarranted” and urged the FDA to modify blood donation policies.

As of July, 2013, 21 countries, including Canada, UK, and countries located in South Africa, have already replaced lifetime MSM blood bans with deferral periods for MSM that vary in length from six months to five years, prompting the assertion from Time correspondents that “the U.S. is far behind." On August 1st, 2013:, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a group of 86 other signatories from Congress sent a letter to call for an end to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ban on blood donors who are “men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977,” a policy the FDA has had in place since the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

This issue is quickly gaining momentum in the United States. This policy is discriminatory and not based in science. If this bill passes, the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) will oppose the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM)"
Elaine Chae
Posts: 1

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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 04:05:43 PM »

To Whom it May Concern:

I am not a member of ARC so I would appreciate it if I were taken off the emailing list.

Thank you.

- Elaine

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